Meet People in Greater Des Moines and Connect

So you know where Greater Des Moines (DSM) is located, you have a general idea of what the region has to offer and what kind of job you can find, but the big question still looms: can I make friends and meet people in DSM? 

Yes, a resounding YES. No matter where you are in life, where your interests lie and how you approach your social life (introverts, we see you!), ways to get connected and find your community in DSM are around every corner. 

How to Get Connected in the Des Moines Community

a group of three people in front of a floral mural

The best place to start meeting people is in your neighborhood. Follow your local chamber on social media or get on their email list to find out what’s going on in your neighborhood, including upcoming DSM social group events. As you start to check out local businesses, give them a follow on social, too. Coffee shops, retailers, libraries, breweries and restaurants often host events and you’ll get alerted right in your feeds when the next gatherings will take place. 

Newcomers are also invited to Welcome to DSM receptions, hosted by the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the region’s community and economic development organization. Watch The Partnership’s calendar for upcoming dates.  

The Catch Des Moines and Downtown DSM calendars are excellent resources to discover opportunities to do something fun and meet people, too. 

Connect and Do Good — Volunteer in the Greater Des Moines Community

DSM is a vibrant place full of individuals and organizations dedicated to service and community improvement. If you’re passionate about service, volunteering is a great way to meet people in DSM. As a state, Iowa’s volunteer rate ranks fourth in the nation. The DSM nonprofit community is diverse and effective, providing services and support for all who call the region home and it’s easy to find an outlet for your time and treasure that aligns with your values and passions. 

a group of volunteers smiling

Here are some tools for getting involved with volunteer projects at local nonprofits in DSM:  

Volunteer Iowa’s goal is to improve lives, strengthen communities and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. The agency is part of a network of state service commissions that exist to foster a bipartisan, state-level commitment to advancing service initiatives as well as developing, communicating and promoting a statewide vision and ethic of service. People who want to volunteer with a state agency can get involved with Volunteer Iowa’s volunteer program or with its AmeriCorps VISTA project.  

United Way of Central Iowa brings together local nonprofits, businesses, elected officials and community leaders to collaborate and implement solutions to some of the region's challenges. The United Way counts on volunteers, advocacy and donations to pursue their missions. 

Greater Des Moines Mentoring Programs

  • Be a Mentor Des Moines (BAM) is a partnership between mentor programs throughout the region. Get connected with Be a Mentor and serve kids and teenagers through these organizations:  
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa offers both community-based and school-based mentoring opportunities. 
  • Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program commissions trained and qualified community advocates to serve as an effective voice in court for abused and neglected children, strengthening efforts to ensure that each child is living in a safe, permanent and nurturing home. 
  • Everybody Wins! Iowa connects elementary-age kids with literacy mentors to work on reading skills. 

Meet Young Professionals in Greater Des Moines

young professionals in a group talking

The mission of Young Professionals Connection (YPC) is to promote an environment that attracts and retains young professionals in DSM. Its efforts focus on connecting emerging leaders to each other and to the community through social, civic, charitable and professional development endeavors. Members benefit from making professional connections, developing their careers and meeting new people — helping the community while learning how to effect change. Young professionals will grow personally and professionally, form lasting relationships and form a strong foundation for their future in YPC. 

YPC has 16 board seats and nine committees. Find ways to get involved